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Inaction on climate change: a violation of children's rights

According to the PACE, “the lack of effective action to tackle climate change constitutes a violation of children’s rights as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child”, in particular regarding the right to life, development, health and medical care, education, a good standard of living, and protection.

In order to preserve a viable environment and respect for the human rights of all generations, the PACE has made a set of recommendations to member States based on its consultations with children.

It called on States, in particular, to honour their international commitments to combat climate change and implement children's rights as set out in the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; and to anchor the human right to a healthy, clean, safe and sustainable environment through national, European and international legal instruments.

In adopting a resolution, based on the report by Jennifer De Temmerman (France, ALDE), the Assembly also encouraged States to give priority to climate change adaptation policies favouring children's resilience to climate change and initiatives to improve their quality of life and health.

Finally, the parliamentarians recommended listening to children more carefully and recognising them as “actors of change in the climate crisis”, by involving them in the elaboration of policies and measures to combat climate change at every level of governance.